Coal India plans to first deploy drones at 35 top coal-producing mines and then expand the usage to new mines
After the successful completion of the pilot projects, Coal India will procure its own drones and retrofit equipment
New Delhi: Coal India Ltd is looking to use drones for measuring daily coal output, monitoring top soil removal, mine reclamation progress, and other monitoring jobs, a spokesperson for CMPDIL (Central Mine Planning & Design Institute) said on Thursday. Some equipment for drones were supposed to be delivered last month, however, the delivery was held up due to the COVID-19 lockdown. The project is expected to pick pace after the lockdown is over, the spokesperson said.
“Certain equipment for drones were scheduled to have been delivered last month but were delayed due to the COVID-19 lockdown. They are now scheduled to be delivered after the lockdown,” the CMPDIL spokesperson said.
Coal India plans to deploy more drones for monitoring purposes
“Once these drones are successfully deployed, data captured and successfully analysed, the plan is to use more drones for similar purposes as Coal India expands its mines and opens new pits. Use of existing ground-based equipment will continue at their respective locations,” the spokesperson said.
Coal India plans to first deploy drones at 35 top coal producing mines. The usage will then be expanded to new mines which are scheduled to be opened up for meeting the 1 billion tonne production target by 2024, as well expansion projects of some of the existing ones. After the successful completion of the pilot projects, Coal India will procure its own drones and retrofit equipment that can undertake the measurements, the spokesperson said.
Currently, monitoring is a manual process
Currently, the quantity of top soil removed by contractors from coal seams and coal produced by each pit are measured manually through ground-mounted or handheld devices. This is a time-consuming process which requires extensive movement by executives and workmen. Deployment of drones for monitoring purposes will reduce the time required for such processes, offering Coal India executives access to data faster, which will in turn fasten the process of decision-making.
As the coal sector has now been opened up by the government for commercial mining, Coal India will now have to compete with domestic as well as global players.